Let me guess: life is feeling a little crazy for you right now, and maybe you’re wishing you knew some ways to avoid burnout (if you feel you could be heading in that direction).
You too? Whew, that means I’m not alone (and also, it means you’re not either).
This whole 2020/pandemic on the rise again/election/parenting/foster care/school unpredictability/daily life stressors thing has got me feeling like almost every single emoji at once.
When I feel so many of these feels (and emoji faces) start to creep into my daily existence, I do what I tell all my clients and students…do the work.
Wait, WAIT! It’s not THAT kind of work! It’s the work of taking care of YOU, the work of figuring out what you need and actually GIVING that to yourself. Don’t know what you need? Again, you’re not alone. So many people don’t know how to answer the question of what they need because they have never truly given themselves permission to ask that before. In all honesty, it might take you some time to figure out what you need to do the work of taking care of you and readjusting your sails a bit to make life feel more manageable.
If you feel yourself heading toward burnout (aka you notice yourself having a short temper with the people you love, you feel tired all the time, you feel symptoms of anxiety like tightness in your chest or a lump in your throat, to name a few…) AND you want to know the exact ways to avoid burnout that I recommend (and that I practice!), here you go…
Spend more time doing what you love
THIS RIGHT HERE. This is my favorite. What do you love to do? DO more of it, please! Write, read, watch Modern Family or This is Us…or whatever floats your boat. I know if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you might think this is the last thing you have time for. On the contrary, I would argue that if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, this can and should be a priority. When can you give yourself 20-30 minutes today to do something you love? Write it down and set it as an intention today. Then, actually do it. I promise you won’t regret it – it’s an act of self-love that will preserve your mental health, my friend.
Spend more time with your favorite people
Now, I know this isn’t an easy time for gatherings…but hear me out. You don’t have to throw a huge party for all of your besties (in fact, I would recommend you NOT do that at the moment), but you can think of the 2-5 people that just always fill you up. Think of the people who get you, who love you, who fill up your cup each time you’re with them. Why not put a FaceTime date on the calendar with them? If they live closer, why not grab coffee or go for a walk and catch up in person? Humans are relational beings, meaning that we weren’t meant to do this life thing alone. Call up a friend and make plans to do something fun together – or just do nothing together. It’s the being together that counts.
Spend more time being active
We have time for what we prioritize, we have time for what we prioritize, we have time for what we prioritize. Along with the other ways to avoid burnout I’ve mentioned so far, being active is something we need to put into our daily (ideally) or weekly routines. Why? Getting our bodies moving is a way to give all that anxious and stressed energy out…it gives it a place to go. When you move your body (any way you want!!), you are allowing your body to release the tension it has been holding. Giving our bodies that release allows our mind to have a release, too – and that, in turn, will help you avoid burnout. Also, it will make you a healthier human in general so that’s a win too.
Spend more time in stillness
This isn’t meant to contradict my previous suggestion. Stillness is another way to release tension, both bodily and mentally. There are a variety of different ways to practice stillness, including (but not limited to): meditation, prayer, forest bathing, sitting outside in the sun, taking a hot bath, listening to worship music (or your favorite uplifting music), savoring a hot cup of tea…the list is endless, really. If you’d like to learn more ways to practice stillness, check out this post.
Spend more time processing your feelings
Heyooo, you still with me? Great 🙂
I’m a therapist, so I for sure can’t leave this one out. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious or burnt out, you must must MUST address those feels. There are many ways to do that, but my favorite recommendations are all inside my Fear Less course (opening again in January 2021 – click here to join the waitlist!).
Inside the course, I teach the same methods I use with clients in my office from cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and many other modalities of treatment and provide ongoing support to my students inside our private Facebook group through private classes and group coaching calls. Encouraging and supporting them through the craziness of life has been such a privilege!
But you definitely don’t have to wait until January to start processing your feelings (please don’t!). You can use this journaling prompt or this one to get started. I also highly recommend making an appointment with a therapist, because #therapyiscool.
There you have it, my friends! Which one of these ways to avoid burnout are you most excited to try? Why not incorporate one into each day of the week? Just a thought. I’m here if you need extra support, so don’t hesitate to reach out!